Who knew reading about reading could be so much fun?
Of course, us bibliophiles knew it would it would be a worthy experience. That’s precisely why Anne Bogel’s book is huge among bookstagrammers and book lovers everywhere right now. I finally decided I needed to cave and buy this book (what book buying ban?) after seeing a review of I’d Rather Be Reading by The Biblio Blonde.
For so many people, reading isn’t just a hobby or a way to pass the time–it’s a lifestyle. Our books shape us, define us, enchant us, and even sometimes infuriate us. Our books are a part of who we are as people, and we can’t imagine life without them.
I’d Rather Be Reading is the perfect literary companion for everyone who feels that way. In this collection of charming and relatable reflections on the reading life, beloved blogger and author Anne Bogel leads readers to remember the book that first hooked them, the place where they first fell in love with reading, and all of the moments afterward that helped make them the reader they are today. Known as a reading tastemaker through her popular podcast What Should I Read Next?, Bogel invites book lovers into a community of like-minded people to discover new ways to approach literature, learn fascinating new things about books and publishing, and reflect on the role reading plays in their lives.
The perfect gift for the bibliophile in everyone’s life, I’d Rather Be Reading will command an honored place on the overstuffed bookshelves of any book lover.
Chapter after chapter I felt a sense of kinship in Anne’s writing, and for me, that’s what reading is all about. I relish in the moments when I’m able to relate to another human I’ve never met through their writing and feel as if I could easily be friends with them. On each page, I could have shouted an “Amen, sista!” if I was a shouting type of person. 😉
The first chapter, titled “Confess Your Literary Sins” gave me a couple of laughs. There is this unspoken sense of shame I sometimes feel being a book blogger without more English education under my belt than English 102. I haven’t read Sense & Sensibility or Pride & Prejudice. I fell asleep 25 times reading The Scarlet Letter in high school, even though the idea of the story sounded intriguing to me. I still claim 1984 and To Kill a Mockingbird as my favorite Classics because they are the only ones I truly enjoyed. Yet, I still love books and need them to be mentally well! I like that Anne took up for those of us with literary sins like mine, allowing us to feel like we all belong, whether we’re reading straight smut or War and Peace. Readers don’t have to be arrogant high brows to enjoy books.
Since I rejoined the reading society in 2015 and more fervently in 2016, I have come to believe in the magic of books finding me, not vice versa. When Anne talks about this phenomenon only a true book lover could understand, I was delighted to read about her experiences and the books that found their way into her heart and mind.
“…if the right book has almost magically appeared in your life at the right time to hold your hand for the journey — you know it feels like a special kind of grace.”
I also specifically enjoyed when Anne mentioned someday dying with unread books left on her shelves because this is a legitimate worry I came to understand last year. I tried to research how many more books I could potentially fit in my life, if I lived to an average age, barring no serious complications. The results depressed me. I realized I needed to stop reading the books everyone else wanted me to (Talking to you, “Book Bossy”, friends – another topic mentioned in this book) and read the books I wanted. I needed to realize it’s more than acceptable to stop reading a book I’m not feeling and move on to something else.
Essentially, Anne has written a short book (less than 150 pages) which reads like a blog post from one of our book buddies. It’s entirely relatable, fun to read, and simply a must for any book lover’s collection.